B Dortmund 4 – 2 A Madrid

Borussia Dortmund beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate to set up a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final with Paris Saint-Germain.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, the hosts needed to score first at a rocking Westfalenstadion and that is exactly what they did, taking the lead thanks to Julian Brandt’s well-taken 34th-minute strike.

Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen doubled Dortmund’s lead just five minutes later after a lovely flowing move, only for Atletico to hit back in the second half as Diego Simeone’s three half-time changes had an immediate effect.

Mats Hummels’s own goal four minutes after the interval gave the visitors the impetus they needed, with substitute Angel Correa pulling them level on the night – and ahead on aggregate – just past the hour mark.

However, those twin strikes only served to wake the home team up as first Niclas Fullkrug’s (71) wonderful glancing header brought them level again on aggregate, before an equally eye-catching finish from Marcel Sabitzer (74) saw them progress.

Atleti secure Club World Cup place

Barcelona’s exit from the Champions League sent Atletico to the inaugural 32-team Club World Cup in the United States next year.

Europe will have 12 teams at the lucrative month-long tournament – title winners of the Champions League in the four seasons through this one plus high-ranked teams based on overall results in the competition in this period.

Barca began Tuesday trailing Atletico in the rankings to take the second Club World Cup entry from Spain and lost 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in the home leg of their quarterfinals. Barcelona was eliminated 6-4 on aggregate score.

Atletico also was eliminated from the Champions League losing 4-2 at Borussia Dortmund, and 5-4 on aggregate, but its Club World Cup place is secure.

Atletico is the 22nd team to qualify for the inaugural 32-team edition of the Club World Cup that will be played in cities across the U.S. from June 15-July 13 next year. The expanded format will be played every four years instead of annually.

How Dortmund set up Champions League semi with PSG

Without their first-leg scorer Sebastian Haller due to an ankle injury, Dortmund had to shuffle their pack, meaning a start for Julian Brandt and it was the experienced Germany international who made the crucial first-half breakthrough.

The playmaker collected Hummels’ lofted pass in the box, before beating Jan Oblak at his near post, although the Atleti No 1 could have done better, not that the ‘keeper could have done much about the hosts’ second soon after.

Jadon Sancho, Karim Adeyemi and Sabitzer were all involved, with the latter’s clever pass releasing Maatsen into the box, with the Dutchman finding the far corner with a low drive to put Dortmund ahead on aggregate at the interval.

Simeone responded to his team’s lethargic first-half display by making a triple change at the break, and they worked as the visitors scored twice in the opening 20 minutes of the second period to seemingly take control of the tie.

Firstly, Hummels inadvertently stuck his leg out to deflect Mario Hermoso’s far-post header past Gregor Kobel, before Correa – a lively presence after coming on at the break – put his side ahead on aggregate with an emphatic finish following a goalmouth scramble.

Team news

Dortmund made one change from the first leg, with Julian Brandt replacing Felix Nmecha, who was benched.

On-loan Man Utd forward Jadon Sancho did start in attack, but striker Sebastien Haller, who scored in the first leg, missed out with an ankle problem.

As for the visitors, Atletico also made just the one alteration from the first leg as Mario Hermoso came in for the banned Samuel Lino .

Meanwhile, Memphis Depay missed out again with injury.

Dortmund showed great heart, though, to hit back in the final 20 minutes thanks to two world-class finishes from Fullkrug’s head, after being set up by Sabitzer’s inviting cross, before the Austrian himself struck a spectacular winner from the edge of the area to send the Westfalenstadion into raptures and set up a semi-final date with PSG, who they faced in the group stage.

Dortmund’s first CL semi ion more than a decade – Opta stats

  • Borussia Dortmund have reached the UEFA Champions League semi-final for the fourth time, and for the first time since 2012-13.
  • This was just the second time Atlético de Madrid have conceded 4+ goals in a UEFA Champions League knockout stage game, after the 2014 final (1-4 v Real Madrid). Their 13 goals conceded in this season’s competition is their most in a single UEFA Champions League campaign.
  • Only Manchester City (12) have had more different goalscorers (excluding own goals) in the UEFA Champions League this season than Borussia Dortmund, with Ian Maatsen and Marcel Sabitzer the 10th and 11th players to score for BVB this term.
  • At 35 years and 122 days, Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels became the second oldest player to score an own goal in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, after Laurent Blanc for Man Utd against Deportivo de La Coruña in April 2002 (36y 142d).
  • Atlético de Madrid have conceded in each of their last 11 matches in all competitions, their longest run without a clean sheet since July 2004 (also 11 games).

Sabitzer reminds Man Utd of what might of been

Analysis by Sky Sports’ Richard Morgan:

Marcel Sabitzer showed glimpses of his obvious talent during last season’s six-month loan stay at Man Utd, albeit not enough to convince manager Erik ten Hag to turn his short-term stay at Old Trafford into a permanent move last summer.

However, given the Austria international’s impressive display to help his side edge through to the Champions League semi-finals after a 5-4 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid, maybe United and Ten Hag erred in that decision.

The 30-year-old joined Borussia Dortmund instead in July and has so far contributed six goals and eight assists in 34 games in total, including two assists and a goal to help see off Atleti in a rousing quarter-final on Tuesday.

And just when his side needed him, Sabitzer first produced a wonderful cross from the left flank which Niclas Fullkrug headed home, before scoring the winner minutes later with a characteristic long-range strike.

Defence proves Atleti’s Achilles heel for once

Analysis by Sky Sports’ Richard Morgan:

Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid are 2-1 up over Borussia Dortmund from the first leg
Image:
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid threw away a 4-3 aggregate lead late on to exit the Champions League

When Angel Correa thumped Atletico 4-3 ahead on aggregate with just 25 minutes left to play at the Westfalenstadion, this pulsating last-eight tie appeared to have taken its final twist.

However, there was always this nagging feeling that this Atleti side did not have the usual DNA of most Diego Simeone teams, in that they had appeared defensively weak throughout the two ties.

And as it proved as back roared Dortmund to score twice themselves in quick time and the post-match stats said it all as the visitors conceded four or more goals in a Champions League knockout stage game for just the second time, while they also gave up five shots on target in the first half of a Champions League knockout stage match for the first time since May 2017.

Ultimately, that was to prove decisive as Simeone’s men just could not hold on for another semi-final appearance…

What’s next?

Dortmund face Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday April 21, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 4.30pm.

Atletico Madrid, sitting fourth in LaLiga, visit Alaves on Sunday. Kick-off 5.30pm.

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